Hillary Clinton has made it very clear where she stands on abortion, but a new article in The Atlantic tries to portray her as having more conflicted views on the issue.
“Although the Democratic presidential candidate is strongly pro-choice, her Methodist upbringing has shaped her ambivalence about the procedure,” Myriam Renaud wrote for the news outlet.
Renaud’s piece tries to muddy a clear issue by picking out a few occasions when Clinton’s politicking made her stance on abortion appear more nuanced. One example cited in the piece was a 1994 Newsweek interview. At the time, Clinton described herself as an “old-fashioned Methodist” and said that abortion is morally wrong. Another example was a 1993 speech when Clinton said the question of when human life begins is “delicate” and “difficult.”
The article continued:
One of her biographers, Paul Kengor, notes that she has turned to the UMC’s Book of Resolutions when she has wanted help reaching a decision or when grappling with a moral question. The Book accepts abortion but only in a qualified way. It professes “the sanctity of unborn human life” while allowing that certain circumstances – “conflicts of life with life” — may warrant terminating a pregnancy.
This may explain Clinton’s recent comments on NBC’s “Meet the Press” during which, to the dismay of many pro-choicers, she described the fetus as an “unborn person.” She has also declared her support of some “late-pregnancy” restrictions that would go into effect perhaps as soon as the “unborn person” is viable, except in cases of rape or incest or when the life or mental or physical health of the mother is at risk.
… Spurred by this religious mandate, Clinton seems to have set aside her personal reservations about abortion in favor of “the good” of public protections for women’s health which, in her view, includes access to safe, legal procedures. Her commitment extends to partial-birth abortions, although in a 2000 New York Senate debate, she described this procedure as “horrible.” According to Politifact, in cases where a woman’s life is in danger, or her health or fertility is threatened, Clinton has insisted that the option to terminate must remain available no matter how far advanced the pregnancy. Her views, once again, recall those in the UMC’s Book of Resolutions: “We oppose the use of late-term abortion … and call for the end of this practice except when the physical life of the mother is in danger.”
Renaud also mentioned an often-cited Clinton quote that abortions should be “rare.” She neglected to add that Clinton dropped the word from her current campaign.
Renaud’s thesis on Clinton does not stand up to tests. Julia Duin, a journalist who covered Clinton’s speeches in the 1990s for the Washington Times, said the former first lady openly stated her support for abortion “a multitude of times” even back then.
“She never sounded conflicted to me …” Duin wrote at Get Religion.
Duin said Renaud did not do her research on Clinton. An interesting note, Duin also mentioned that Renaud is a minister for the Unitarian Universalists, a religious group that supports abortion on demand.
Clinton’s stance on abortion is clear. She recently promised the abortion industry that she would try to repeal the Hyde Amendment and force taxpayers to fund abortions. She made the promise despite consistent polling showing that most Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.
She also promised to nominate U.S. Supreme Court justices who will ensure that Roe v. Wade and abortion on demand up until birth remain the law of the land for years to come.
In February, Clinton also defended the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure.
Some have tried to claim that Clinton supports abortion restrictions after viability, but she only supports a few rare restrictions if they include broad “health exceptions.” These exceptions are so broad that they allow abortions for basically any reason up until birth. Additionally, Clinton also has said in various interviews that an unborn child just hours before birth has no Constitutional rights.
Clinton’s presidential campaign is arguably the most pro-abortion campaign in history. Planned Parenthood recently called Clinton the “strongest” pro-abortion presidential candidate “we’ve ever seen.”